Letters to the Editor

Don't let Paulwell off the hook with half-baked apology

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Apologies are great, but they don't really change anything. You know what does? Action. — Stella Young.

After been roundly criticised by just about everybody Phillip Paulwell has now backed off his call for the prime minister to fire National Energy Solutions head Carolyn Warren.

He took days to apologise. I doubt the sincerity of the half-baked and seemingly forced apology. He looked like a man trying to recover before the vice-presidential contest in his party.

Does this help Warren? No! Does it help Paulwell? Yes! He comes across looking good.

And the whole tragic irony of this situation is that it started because of partisan politics. No doubt he was trying to impress delegates to get their votes.

After dragging out the lady's past mistake to an international audience, potentially causing reputational damage, he's now going to just say, OK, sorry. His attack on her was totally unnecessary and he cannot and should not be allowed to just get off with, 'I am sorry.'

We have seen this before, where people's reputations are questioned in public by those who hide behind the office they hold. The talk doesn't just go away like that.

If Dr Peter Phillips wants us to take him seriously as somebody new or different, or what not, he should fire Paulwell from his council of spokespersons or he should have been instructed to withdraw his candidacy for vice-president.

I don't believe in the apology after wilfully causing embarrassment to this lady.

For many women, and a fair number of men, saying 'I'm sorry' isn't literally an apology; it's a ritual way of restoring balance to a conversation, says Deborah Tannen.

That must be what Paulwell was trying to do, but no restoration has been achieved.

Warren should tell Paulwell to go to hell!

Fabian Lewis


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